A letter to Jeffrey Hoffman on his last day as Dean of Students at Art Center

by November 15th, 2013

Jeff HoffmanHey Jeff,

It’s Tyler. This letter is hard to write. On your last day as our Dean of Students, I’ve collected a few thoughts about the impact you’ve had on my life, the life of students and how much you’ll be missed by everyone.

When I first heard about you in the hallway most every person who mentioned you would remark, “Jeff? He’s great.” In the past few years I have seen how true this is, and how it doesn’t go far enough. Jeff, you’re wonderful. You’re compassionate and fair, steadfast and kind. The positive change you have made in the lives of students and everyone at Art Center has made a momentous difference and will not be forgotten.

Your energy inspires. Seeing the dedicated attention that you give every issue that comes across your desk and the grace and diligence with which you handle things big and small motivates me to be the kind of leader I have been so privileged to see you exemplify. The work you have done to ensure students’ health and happiness through the CSE has changed the school’s culture. The policy changes you have pushed for — being student-centered and seeing the learning opportunities at every step — modeled the generosity that we needed and continue to aspire towards as an institution. Your initiatives with the Council on Diversity and Inclusion and the environment you helped create have made for a truly safe space where everyone is heard, appreciated and empowered to act.

As I fight back the tears fairly unsuccessfully today I am so greatful that you were my ACSG advisor this past year and my friend. You have taught me how to be a better educator, a more patient leader and a more thoughtful student. You have mentored me and advocated for me, protected me and guided me when I took a misstep. You’ve given me a glimpse at the kind of co-worker, husband and man that I hope I can be one day.

I’ll miss your whole hearted laugh, spontaneous song ballads and your gentle warm smile. I know that in your continued adventure with the Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance you will continue to touch the lives of young people as you have done mine, only multiplying the ripples of good you bring to the world.

I love you. We all love you. We’ll miss you. There will always be peanut-butter filled pretzels and chocolate bars waiting in the ACSG office when you stop by for a visit.

grace,

Tyler

Tyler Bennett

On behalf of Art Center Student Government and the ACCD student body

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